Free Speech Resources
This page aggregates and organizes the writing about the First Amendment, free speech rights, free speech culture, and related topics.
Section I: Posts About Meta-Issues
In Defense of Free Speech Pedantry — A post arguing we should clarify whether we’re arguing about Free Speech Rights (issues concerning legal rights), Free Speech Culture (issues concerning how we choose as a culture to respond to speech), and Speech Decency (what speech is kind, moral, and decent).
Section 2: Posts About Free Speech Rights
The First Amendment And Its Exceptions
The First Amendment Isn’t Absolute. But So What? A discussion of what it means to say the First Amendment isn’t absolute and has exceptions, and why that observation is of limited use in a debate over any particular disfavored speech.
Clarifying Some Common First Amendment Terminology: What we mean when we say “First Amendment exception” and “this is a First Amendment issue.”
Lawsplainer: Sarah Palin's Defamation Claim Against The New York Times Can Go To Trial: Analysis of actual malice and other issues from the Palin defamation case.
Can a Tarot Card Reading Be Defamatory? How do you separate fact from opinion when the opinion is based on magic?
Fox News v. Fox Entertainment: Does The Difference Matter? Countering the trope that Fox “admitted that it’s news, not entertainment,” and explaining how this matters in the defamation context.
Section 230 is The Subject Of the Most Effective Legal Propaganda I've Ever Seen — How a disinformation campaign has misled you about Section 230, and links to resources that get it right.
Anti-SLAPP Lawsplainer Series, Chapter One: Chapter One: How Do Lawsuits Work Without An Anti-SLAPP Statute, And Why Is That A Problem? To explain how anti-SLAPP statutes work, I start with explaining how the system without them doesn’t protect speech effectively.
Anti-SLAPP Lawsplainer Series, Chapter Two: How Do Anti-SLAPP Statutes Fix Civil Litigation Problems And Help Defendants? In the second chapter I explain how anti-SLAPP statutes provide defendants with an effective early remedy to get out of bogus censorious lawsuits.
Anti-SLAPP Lawsplainer Series, Chapter Three: What Makes A Good Anti-SLAPP Statute? Not all anti-SLAPP statutes are created equal. What makes a good one?
Section 3: Posts About Free Speech Culture
The Moral and Philosophical Incoherence of "How Dare You Walk Out On My Speech" — why people’s angry response to your speech, and speech about it, is also free expression.
Alex Jones At The Tower of Babel: Why legalism and emotive, tribal speech can be a poor match.
Our Fundamental Right To Shame And Shun The New York Times: My critique of the concept of “cancel culture” and attempt to define it.
Nothing New Under The First Amendment Sun: Our culture has always been hashing out the conflict between the values of the state and the values of the individual as expressed through speech.